Background Checks


ATG LegalServe offers the following employment screening products. Click a product name for more information:

If you do not see what you are looking for, please contact our office and we will be happy to discuss a customized solution for you.

Criminal Records

County Criminal Records | Our default county criminal records product is a seven-year felony and misdemeanor search at the county seat court. Information is always received directly from the court; database information is never utilized for our county criminal records searches. Although seven years is the minimum time frame, we will routinely return information to clients as far back as applicable federal and state laws allow. Record contents typically include date of the offense and/or filing, description of the offense, disposition, and case or file number. Available in all counties nationwide.

Statewide Criminal Search | This search comes directly from the state's official criminal record repository. Information is compiled from the counties within that state. The repository typically includes felony and misdemeanor information from all or most counties; however, be aware that the repository information may be incomplete if a county fails to provide information to the state repository. In addition, pending and recent charges are routinely missing. Statewide searches are valuable as a supplement to our county criminal records search. Available in most states.

Federal Criminal Records | This is a search of the federal district courts for any criminal charges that fall under federal jurisdiction. These types of crimes include violations of federal law or those crimes that occur on federal property. Examples include tax evasion, treason, drug trafficking, mail or wire fraud, and immigration law violations. Available in all districts nationwide.

National (Multi-Jurisdictional) Criminal Database Search | This is a database search for felony and misdemeanor crimes committed in numerous jurisdictions nationwide. Records are indexed from state repositories, state correctional facilities, and some county records. The availability of records varies greatly from state to state. This is not a true nationwide search of all criminal records, but it is a good supplemental search to our county criminal records search. It can also help identify crimes that occurred in jurisdictions that are not revealed by an application, resume, or SSN Trace. Any information returned on a database search is automatically confirmed at the county of origin before being released to the client.

Sex Offender Registry Search | This search includes a national database search of registered sex offenders, as well as a direct search in all states of residence and employment. The registry search reveals individuals that are currently registered as sex offenders; the originating offense is not included, but would likely be revealed in a county criminal records search. Available in all states.

Homeland Security Search | This product is a search of 134 domestic and international sanctions and exclusions lists, including the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list. Our Homeland Security Search satisfies a key component of the Patriot Act.

Back to Top

Civil Court Records

County Civil Records | Civil cases include disputes between private citizens, corporations, governmental bodies and other organizations. Types of cases may include employer-employee conflicts, property, personal rights, non-payment of goods, personal injuries, liability suits, or contract disputes. Records are searched on-site at the appropriate court; a seven year history of filings is returned.

Federal Civil Records | Federal civil searches include records that involve alleged violations of federal statutory or constitutional rights. Examples of federal civil cases include violations of civil rights, actions against the federal government, interstate commerce, anti-trust activity and violation of federal codes. Cases are searched at the appropriate district court for the past seven years.

Back to Top

Social Security Number and Credit

Social Security Number (SSN) Trace | A Social Security Number (SSN) Trace is an invaluable tool used to identify names and addresses that are historically associated with a given Social Security Number. Information is generally compiled from credit headers and other public and private information sources. It will also suggest previously used names or other aliases that should be researched.

This search will reveal when and where a SSN was issued, as well as alert clients to any particular problems, such as identifiying SSNs that have never been issued, those that were issued to a deceased person, or SSNs that were issued before an applicant was born. The SSN Trace is a crucial component of criminal history research as the address history is the roadmap used to select court jurisdictions that should be researched for criminal records.

Clients who order a SSN Trace online can view the results instantly, allowing them to use that information for criminal history ordering purposes.

Our SSN Trace report will typically show:

  • If the social security number has been validly issued
  • Year in which the SSN was issued
  • What state the SSN was issued in
  • If that number belongs to someone deceased
  • Addresses where the applicant has lived or might be living now
  • Aliases, previous names, AKAs, misspelled names, changed identity
  • Dates of birth associated with that SSN
  • Other people associated with the same SSN

Employment Credit Reports | Employers use credit reports for those situations where employees may have access to cash, equipment, or other people's property. In these situations, an employer's knowledge of the applicant's credit history may be prudent. The TransUnion employment credit report header consists of name, current address, previous addresses, SSN, and may also include the following: phone, current employer, up to three previous employers, and aliases. The credit file includes certain public records, such as bankruptcy records and tax liens, along with a credit summary regarding number of trades, past due or negative accounts, and total indebtedness. You will also receive specific details on each individual trade. This credit report is designed for employment purposes, so it does not place an inquiry on the applicant's report.

Clients who order employment credit reports online can view the results of the report instantly.

Back to Top

E-Verify/Employment Eligibility Verification

E-Verify | This post-hire product will verify if your applicant is legally allowed to work in the United States. Information is accessed from the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration to verify your applicant's right-to-work status. All federal contractors and sub-contractors are required by law to verify their employees' eligibility to legally work in the U.S. In addition, more than a dozen states also require or strongly encourage E-Verify on certain employees. All other public and private sector employers may use the system voluntarily.

Our electronic E-Verify solution electronically queries DHS and SSA databases to verify new employees' U.S. work eligibility. This query includes verification that your candidate's name and SSN match in the SSA database. In most cases, the results are returned to you instantly. Enhanced capabilities include email alerts and reports that help track and monitor tentative non-confirmations.

Benefits to our E-Verify solution:

  • Reduces your potential risks of non-compliance, which would result in exposure to financial penalties and consequent negative publicity. For employers who knowingly hire or knowingly continue to employ unauthorized workers, civil penalties range from $250 to $11,000 per violation. For employers engaging in a pattern or practice of knowingly hiring or continuing to employ unauthorized workers, criminal penalties can be a much as $3,000 per unauthorized employee and/or 6 months imprisonment.
  • Helps ensure workforce stability and assists in eliminating the potential for disruptive and costly turnover created by the mandatory removal of legally unauthorized employees.
  • Minimizes the potential for attracting legally unauthorized candidates by acknowledging your participation in E-Verify.
  • Integrates seamlessly with ATG LegalServe's existing ordering system.
  • Reduces data entry as employee information is carried over to the E-Verify screen.

Back to Top

Verifications and References

Consider these statistics: According to a 2003 Society of Human Resources Management study, 53% of all job applications contain inaccurate information. In that same year, the Wall Street Journal reported that 34% of all application forms contain outright lies about experience, education, and ability to perform essential functions on the job. Verification of employment, education and licenses is crucial not only for determining dates, degrees and titles, but also to reveal whether your applicant has falsified information on their application or resume behavior that is even more telling than the application data itself.

Employment Verification | The verification of an applicant's employment history can provide invaluable insight into the type of person you are considering hiring. In addition, it can help eliminate any unexplained gaps in employment. Basic employment verification typically includes dates of employment, job title, reason for leaving and eligibility for rehire. ATG LegalServe will also inquire about salary history, punctuality and attendance, strong and weak points, performance, and whether appropriate notice was given. Clients may also request additional questions as necessary.

Education Verification | Most applicants are eager to supply college or continuing education information. This information may be misrepresented in order to receive more favorable consideration. Look for words like "attended" or "completed course work," which implies possession of a degree when, in fact, this may not be the case.

Due to the proliferation of diploma mills, ATG LegalServe will also provide you with a school's accreditation information at no extra charge for each U.S. post-secondary institution.

Professional License Verification | Many positions require an individual to have received specialized training, certification, or a professional license, we can confirm the information an individual provides. Reports typically include license type, issuing authority and dates of validity. For certain license types, disciplinary history may also be included.

Personal References | Personal references can provide helpful insight into a person's work ethic and character. Reports typically include information regarding how long and in what capacity the reference has known in the individual, as well as questions about their reliability, trustworthiness, and whether the reference would recommend the person for hire.

Back to Top

Driving Records

Driving Records | Driving records are strongly recommended whenever you have an employee who drives on company time, whether in a company or personal vehicle. Most states include a minimum of three years history, although some go back further. Reports typically include the license status, history of violations (including DUI/DWI) and accidents, and license expiration date. Driving records are also useful for general verification purposes, such as confirmation of subject's name, AKA, or date of birth.

Instant results are available from almost every state. Records from Canada and some U.S. territories are also available.

Annual/Periodic Driving Record Service | For those employers who need to review employee driving records on an annual or periodic basis, ATG LegalServe offers the ability to submit numerous driving record requests simultaneously via our import module. This convenient solution greatly reduces data entry time. In addition, results are typically returned to you the same day and will include a single spreadsheet summary of each individual's driving status and violation history, making the review of those records extremely efficient.

Commercial Driveer's License Information System (CDLIS) | The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires a three-year driving history on all driver applicants. Clients that employ Department of Transportation (DOT)-regulated drivers can maintain compliance with DOT regulations by obtaining a driving record from every state in which a driver has held a license in the last three years. The CDLIS will search the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) mandated CDLIS database to identify every state in which a driver has held a license. Using this information, ATG LegalServe will then pull a driving record from each of those states for the employer to review.

Back to Top

Workers' Compensation

Workers' Compensation | Employers may request Workers' Compensation reports to determine if an applicant can perform the essential functions of a job with reasonable accommodations. Record contents vary from state to state, but will typically include date of injury, time lost, employer name, type of injury, body part and job related disability.

Please note that Worker's Compensation information is considered to be health and disability related under the American's with Disabilities Act (ADA). To be in compliance, this product is available only after tentative or permanent job offer has been made to the applicant. Once a job offer has been made, an employer may inquire about health or disability information if such inquiry is related to the specific job and performance requirements. This information should be asked for on a separate health and disability questionnaire. Previous Workers' Compensation filings are NOT grounds to refuse employment to an applicant, but are used to determine the ability to perform essential job function.

Workers' Compensation claims records are available in all states except: Alaska, Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Maine, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Back to Top

International Searches

ATG LegalServe can conduct court records searches, employment verification and education confirmation in many countries throughout the world. Availability, turnaround time and cost vary significantly based on the country. For specific information regarding international searches, please contact our office.

Court Records | Criminal and civil court records are available in most countries. Turnaround time is usually a few days to a few weeks. Local, regional, and/or national courts may be accessed for information. Due to privacy laws in other countries, a copy of the applicant's signed release may be required.

Verification and References | Verification of international employment and education are becoming more common as applicants choose to immigrate to the United States. Our international verification service utilizes highly trained researchers that operate 24 hours a day out of a call center in Spokane, Washington. Translators are available when necessary, and calls are made at appropriate times depending on time zone. In addition, applicants' personally identifiable information (PII) is never outsourced to overseas researchers except in extreme circumstances. Due to privacy laws in other countries, a copy of the applicant's signed release, as well as other documentation, may be required.

Back to Top

Industry Solutions

Certain industries may be strongly encouraged, or legally required, to perform certain searches on employment applicants. The following solutions will help those employers stay in compliance with industry regulations or standards. More traditional products may also be recommended in addition to the specialized searches below.


  • Financial Enforcement Actions – This search identifies individuals and institutions that have been the subject of banking or financial enforcement actions, orders or penalties under the following banking agencies:
    • Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FRB)
    • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
    • National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)
    • Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)
    • Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS)
    • Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
    • Plus 100+ additional sources
  • Federal Sanctions and Exclusions – This search checks the GSA's Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) and the OIG's List of Excluded Individuals/Entities (LEIE) for excluded or sanctioned individuals.

    The Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) includes information regarding entities debarred, suspended, proposed for debarment, excluded or disqualified under the nonprocurement common rule, or otherwise declared ineligible from receiving Federal contracts, certain subcontracts, and certain Federal assistance and benefits.

    The List of Excluded Individuals/Entities (LEIE) includes information regarding individuals or entities excluded from participating in Federally-funded health care programs. Bases for exclusion include convictions for program-related fraud and patient abuse, licensing board actions and default on Health Education Assistance Loans.

  • Homeland Security – This product is a search of 134 domestic and international sanctions and exclusions lists, including the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list. Our Homeland Security Search satisfies a key component of the Patriot Act.


  • Healthcare Sanctions – This product will search a database of adverse actions against individuals in the healthcare industry. The search includes the OIG (LEIE), GSA (EPLS) and FDA exclusion lists, along with other 800 other sources, including federal and state agencies. The Healthcare Sanctions search is crucial in revealing individuals and entities currently excluded from receiving payment from Medicare, Medicaid, and all Federal health care programs.
  • Professional License Verification – Many positions require an individual to have received specialized training, certification, or a professional license, we can confirm the information an individual provides. Reports typically include license type, issuing authority and dates of validity. For certain license types, disciplinary history may also be included.

Transportation |

Our DOT/FMCSA background checks will help you maintain compliance with applicable regulations concerning new hires. As part of a DOT background check, ATG LegalServe will conduct a mandatory inquiry into an applicant's drug and alcohol history with each employer, as well as run the required driving record, including a CDLIS search. In addition, we offer DOT drug testing for pre-employment as well as random screening purposes.

We can also conduct DOT regulated inquiries for other agencies, such as the FAA. Please contact our office for a complete menu of available DOT services.

Volunteer Screening

  • VolunteerSCREEN – Although volunteers are not considered "employees" under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, we feel it is best practice to screen volunteers as you would regular employees. If, however, an agency is unable to screen volunteers at the same level that can be afforded to employees, we offer the VolunteerSCREEN.

    This search combines a national criminal history database check with a national sex offender registry check to identify potentially violent criminals and sex offenders before they come into contact with at-risk populations.

    Please note that this is not a true "nationwide" or comprehensive national search, rather it is considered multi-jurisdictional. It is completely dependent on participation from the originating source. Originating sources may include: county court records, state repository records, or state correctional records.

Back to Top

Form I-9 Compliance

Electronic Form I-9 | The Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 is used by an employer to verify an employee's identity and to establish that the worker is eligible to accept employment in the United States. Our Electronic Form I-9 service provides a comprehensive error-detecting solution that virtually eliminates processing errors and simplifies the document completion process.


  • Secure, paperless Form I-9 storage, with 24/7 access for updating, re-verification, and governmental inspection
  • The ability to e-sign the I-9 form, utilizing a high-security, DHS-compliant click-to-sign solution
  • "Add eDocuments" feature allows you to electronically attach related I-9 documents to employees' I-9 Forms
  • 90-, 60-, and 30-day e-mail alerts to be forwarded to you prior to the expiration of work authorization documents
  • The ability to run reports by client location

I-9 Scanning | In addition to utilizing this service for all new employees, we can also scan, index, and archive paper copies of I-9 forms in order for the employer to easily access all I-9 records from one location at the touch of a button. This is especially beneficial in the case of an I-9 audit, which is becoming more and more commonplace in today's workforce.

Back to Top

Last update: 9-25-13